October 29, 2020

Small Victories

By Chaplain Mike

This is a shameless advertisement for a friend, to whom I have alluded many times on iMonk.

Several years ago, one of the transforming experiences of my life took place when, by God’s grace, I was allowed to walk with a family through the terminal illness and death of their son. Daniel was my son’s age, a friend and fellow baseball and football player, the best athlete in our high school, a bright student, and one of the funniest people you’d ever want to meet. His illness and death was one of those situations that transformed an entire community.

On May 29, 2006, Daniel Patrick Mercer lost his battle with cancer. However, the war he waged on the hearts of our family, friends, and community will last for generations. His faith, selflessness and courage have provided the impetus for countless “Small Victories” that live deep in the soul of each of us. (SV Brochure 2010)

Daniel’s dad, Jeff, wrote a book about Daniel and the journey they took together. It is called Small Victories. The title comes from a saying that Scott Rolen, third basemen of the Cincinnati Reds, gave to Daniel. A friend of the family, Rolen (then a St. Louis Cardinal star) visited Dan in the hospital and encouraged him to strive for a few “small victories” every day as he fought his disease.

Today, I am helping with a charity golf tournament that has been started to raise money for a foundation that was started in Daniel’s honor. Last year’s tournament raised money to create a children’s book called “Common Ground.” Six local high school students and three teachers created, wrote, and illustrated a tale for youth about overcoming challenges. Thanks to the generosity of last year’s golf tournament participants and donors, 3500 copies of the book have been distributed to area schools and hospitals to encourage young people with Daniel’s example.

While this is not a specifically religious project, it is an example of the kind of “common grace” cooperation we can have with our neighbors to show grace, kindness, and encouragement to others.

If you would like information about how to donate a few bucks for a worthwhile cause, email me at chaplainmike@internetmonk.com, and I will send you the address. You can also purchase the book from Amazon through using the link below. Buying a new copy will mean additional money for the foundation.

Buy from Amazon.com—Small Victories